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DPS thanks other agencies, local nonprofits for helping save trafficked children

30 children were rescued thanks to the work of several local, state and national departments and organizations.

MIDLAND COUNTY, Texas — The Midland County Sheriff's Office, Ector County Sheriff's Office, Texas Department of Public Safety and several other law enforcement agencies and organizations worked to save 30 children involved in human trafficking.

"The goal of the operation was to locate and recover children reported missing there in the Odessa-Midland area, Midland, Ector counties, and once the children were found, to either reunite them with their families or get them help," said Sgt. Steven Blanco with DPS.

The children received help from nonprofits like Harmony Home, the Midland Rape Crisis Children's Advocacy Center and many more.

"In helping with the recovery efforts to basically rebuild these children's lives," said Blanco.

Blanco said human trafficking is a problem all across the country, and our area is no exception.

"West Texas, Midland-Odessa, does have an issue with it," said Blanco. "Many of these children are runaways or children who have left their family residences for unknown reasons. Some of them are reached out to by individuals who have nefarious goals with the children."

Blanco also said if you see anything out of the ordinary, report it.

"If you see something, say something," said Blanco. "In this case, it is very important with children. So if you see an instance where abuse or neglect is suspected, please reach out to your law enforcement agencies. The public plays a huge role in alerting law enforcement to these dangerous situations."

DPS has a human trafficking hotline set up. If you see anything suspicious, you are encouraged to call 1-888-373-7888 or send a text to BeFree. That number is 233733.

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